He Said This Will Be The Best Case Ever

(20:29:54) Aline: Perhaps it was paranoia. Perhaps she just wanted an excuse to use that foldable moped that had been gathering dust in her fangift stash. But Aline had made her meeting place with… that /guy/, be in the mid-afternoon, on a hill overlooking Paris-2. She to her credit had already got there, and was laying against the seatcushion of her collapsed (blood-red, it should be noted. Just like her
(20:29:55) Aline: eva~ Silly fans.) ride.
(20:36:12) W: Paris-2 looked more peaceful than desolate from here. One could say this was where her good side began, circling the city at a safe distance. And for many, it only got better the further away they got from it.-
(20:41:52) W: It was hard to say if Agent W was enjoying the distance, himself, both because of the space still separating him and the pilot as well as his impeccable poker face. He had appeared at the foot of the hill some time ago, and had since spent his time steadily working his way up the slope. He glanced back a few times during his ascent, but never at Aline. And he only opened his mouth once he got close enough to touch her with his cane. Which, to his credit, he didn't do. "Good day, Pilot Blanc. Come here often?"
(20:44:53) * Aline had, also to her credit, forgotten the guy had a limp. "Not very. I've been trying to get used to having a vehicle." But… then she eyed him slightly. "I made the leap of assuming this would involve actual sensitive information, rather than solely my lovelife, so the only recording devices present will be whatever you decided to bring with you. Some of what I /might/ say, if I
(20:44:53) * Aline trust you, is not exactly what anyone would want mere rank-and-file S2 to hear."
(20:54:21) W: "Based on my experience, your lovelife is quite sensitive in itself. But your assumption's correct. And I'm not carrying any bugs. Everyone still knows -where- we are, but that's alright. Now, you've been running some "investigations" of your own. I'm primarily interested in anything related to the incidents following the Lady Zhang around, no matter how tangential."
(21:00:55) * Aline nodded. "It's a matter of being unheard, not being unfound. But… yes. Incidents with her. I admit, I had my own support team for that. Both inhuman and human." A bit of a knowing glance. "Inhuman… Voriel, Tenth Angel, The Memory, whatever name you feel is appropriate. He had a theory - which at present seems a bit less sensical - that Director Ikari had ordered the sniper
(21:00:55) * Aline attacks… based on the notion of Isaiah's relationship with Rei Ayanami making him a good candidate for an EVA soul. It seems less sensical now, if only because of the successive attacks being things he wouldn't care about - if there's a trend, it isn't of Gendo's making." But Aline shrugged. "The human support was Ikari Shinji, of course. The memories he retained from the /imprint/ of
(21:00:56) * Aline Silas Caine let him recognize that the sniper attack was planned using by-the-book NeoSpartan tactics - which is what Voriel originally used as part of /his/ theory once learnt, but now strengthens the idea that… what, Azariah made it happen? That whole incident with the Silas clone, if I remember my hearsay."
(21:11:14) W: "That's a strong possibility at this point. And it's one I could easily confirm if my resources weren't being limited. But Simon could've done that just as easily, and I'm here to find another way through. Let's start wiiiith…" He squinted at the skyline rising not that far away from them as if looking for something while his free hand tapped on something in his suit pocket. "Voriel. What's the deal with that guy? Is it a guy? And what exactly can you or it do because of your situation?"
(21:19:46) Aline: "Mmm. It's complicated enough. May as well do a long-story-short." Aline was surprisingly open-sounding. Maybe it was not being needled on uncomfortable things. "He was, as you know, once 'bodied'. I revoked that status with a bolt of positrons, but… Angels do odd things with the mind. Apparently, my soul is more 'open' and easy to get 'lost' in. So having messed with me a lot - as he
(21:19:46) Aline: had with all three pilots - Voriel had left significant enough traces that… a part of him, or maybe just him period, was absorbed by me. So now he's in there, taking up some of the idle resources of my brain to function or something like that. And it… is a guy, and it doesn't matter that he is. Most Angels identify as male, refer to the others as 'brother', and so on. But I imagine it's
(21:19:46) Aline: just mental. Maybe. They can't reproduce on a planet with spiritual properties like ours, so it's thoroughly academic." But Aline paused. "As for what we can do… the both of us can talk together in my thoughts, of course. And… if I am about to die - as in literally at the moment of possible death - he emerges to protect the body… then takes control for a while. That's what the 00
(21:19:51) Aline: berserking incident in the Sahara was all about. But, I can also 'awaken' his powers manually, though I have to keep hold of my own self really hard during it - but in exchange I can manifest an Angelic AT Field, and use his abilities about as freely as I can with the energy I have."
(21:23:30) W: "Oh, it's mental alright…" The boy muttered.-
(21:29:02) W: "And that's what happened in Tokyo. Right. Aaaand you wouldn't be around in non-dissected form if they didn't think you were the one in control most of the time, so that's covered. What about your relation to the Evangelions? It got crowded up there at times, surely."
(21:33:10) * Aline scrunched her face a bit at the 'mental' commment, but then resumed a neutral expression. "Surely. The two of them tend to not like talking at the same time - 00 and Voriel, that is. Probably because of being slightly bitter about the whole controlling incident thing. Not that I blame them. But… As for the not-dissected bit, you…" Was Aline amused? Maybe she was. "…maybe don't
(21:33:10) * Aline quite understand. My /body/ would be perfectly fine if they 'dissected' me. No, no, this is the kind of thing you have to tear souls apart to try to dissect. But I guess that's just splitting hairs."
(21:36:52) W: "Do you think they could do it? Dissect your "soul" and analyse it in some quantifiable and reproducible way?"
(21:39:04) Aline: "Probably. They'd probably also kill me and him, in senses of 'death' I can scarcely understand. But they know how. Putting souls into EVAs… understanding how to detect Angels by AT Field resonations…" Aline practically grinned. "I assure you, souls are very real, and so is NERV's ability to toy with them."
(21:43:02) W: This was the first thing that W openly looked like he had to think about in the conversation. "Hm. Then what, if any, are the repercussions of copying or replacing souls? The Ayanami Project is moving along fine, I hear."
(21:49:49) * Aline drummed her fingers together slightly. "It is. Generally… to /copy/, or at least create, a soul… well, you either bring two together and have them give form to a third - normal reproduction - Or you split the original. You end up with fragments of that original, often /parts/ of what they once were, but they can slowly grow back to something that resembles a full person." Aline
(21:49:49) * Aline tilted her head. "Replacing… Not sure. I've never had experience with, say, putting a foreign soul into a body that doesn't have its native one anymore. I /assume/ the brain will retain memory and information, but the way the new soul adjusts will create a subtly different person, and eventually result in it becoming 'them'."
(22:02:58) * W nodded. "Sounds logical. Now, to return to Tokyo… Can you say there was anything leading up or out of the shooting in your lives? Things like fights or notable sub-factions within your organisation or outside it. Doesn't have to be related to Ikari or the Caines, either, considering how wide a web we're unraveling here."
(22:08:44) * Aline was thinking on that. "…Leading up to, or out of… I don't recall any significant events that might've even been about Yanmei, really. No real interfactional fights, either. You've probably already heard of the rumors about Misato messing with her and Isaiah, and she doesn't strike me as willing to do that, nor emotionally capable of it. But… …Wait." She didn't grin this
(22:08:44) * Aline time, but Aline did somewhat perk up slightly at a realization. "You're fishing for something about sub-factions… oho. I actually have something /terribly sensitive/ that I know only a little about, but is definitely shady enough to probably fit the definition of an outside faction. I'm not sure how related it is, but would you like to hear it?"
(22:13:15) W: Tap-tap went the pocket. W's eyes betrayed a hint of interest, even excitement. "Yeah. I would. What do you have?"
(22:16:47) Aline: "It's about a group I heard of from the spooky stuff going on in the Eden Base incident… but a lot of my evidence points to being real anyway. SEELE. That's what they're called. It's a cute little German wordplay, you see. The soul, that informed the brain - GEHIRN - that commands the… NERV… to direct the Evangelions, the 'body'. From what I can tell, they're behind one of the… man.
(22:16:47) Aline: Has to be 4 or 5… but one of the plans for the apocalypse. Namely, Jeremiah Caine's version. The merging of humanity into a single consciousness. A plan he called…" Okay, Aline was hamming it up slightly. She had just made this big dramatic pause. "…Instrumentality."
(22:21:32) W: If she was enjoying this that much… It probably wouldn't help to snark about it. "I…. see. But that's all you have now? A vague name and one of their endgames?"
(22:26:47) Aline: "And the implication that HIC is involved in it. But… yeah, I don't have tons. But I just felt like you were hunting for the truth about them." She shook her head. "And that 'one of' bit refers to /all/ of the plans. That is, Azariah wants one, the Angels want one, and so on. Instrumentality is their only one from what I know. But… hell. That goes to say a lot about what they want to
(22:26:48) Aline: do. If they founded NERV… they have access to the pieces needed. Seeds of Life, slowly building the EVAs up to become capable of it… probably need the Angels dead or something, too." Aline bit her lip a little. "Yanmei's been doing a lot of political playing-around to protect Isaiah. It's possible she might be pushing too close to interests that SEELE controls. Like the UN's HIC. I
(22:26:48) Aline: don't know /who/ she's been talking to, though. But… if there's an obstacle to the endgame, it has to go, ne? Someone messing with their political controls, someone trying to prevent their gamepieces from being played, and so on. Can at least tell us what the pattern's supposed to be."
(22:37:57) W: "And since we know Azariah Caine -is- involved in my cases, we know all the others are just as involved. That's the part of the fabric NERV's been stumbling on, of course, and the reason I'm here. Now, I thought de Pteres might be the most familiar with this, but since you've been so helpful, maybe you'd know something about it, or at least have pointers on how to approach him about it. I can't call in a specialist if I run into a wall with him yet, either. So. What the hell is Elisha Caine's game?"
(22:49:52) * Aline nodded. "Well, to be honest, I'm being helpful because you sound like you're cutting to the heart of the matter. Even if that heart was something that pissed me off before… I have to respect that want. Anyhow…" Aline leaned back a bit. "Best I can tell, he - and this is going to continue to sound bizarre or even absurd - uncovered the ancient memories he and many others hold as
(22:49:53) * Aline their birthright. /Apparently/, all pilot candidates, as well as a number of people from previous generations, are actually very distant reincarnations of what's known as the First Ancestral Race. The beings that created Adam, the Seed of Angelic Life, and Lilith, the Seed of /our/ Life. Sort of ours. Anyway. Between those memories, and an archaeological finding not too long after World
(22:49:53) * Aline War II, the Caines had access to what was essentially a multiple-billion-year-old instruction manual for said Seeds of Life, and how they were meant to create forms of life that would have room to grow and advance and actually care about the universe, unlike the Ancestors, who had become omnipotent or nearly so… and terribly bored with it. We aren't supposed to be here, technically. The
(22:49:59) * Aline Angels' Seed was the one meant for Earth, but now that the both of us are here… there exists the chance that the two seeds will try to eat the other and gain their own traits, combining the human-destined trait of infinite intellectual potential with the angel-destined trait of infinite physical potential… and become like the Ancestors again. Elisha's game… is for that not to happen.
(22:50:02) * Aline To free humanity to go on its own path. Even Lilith, with her thankfully-limited power to compel life born from her - like us - to do her bidding, wants that forbidden merger to happen. But… Evangelions are somewhat akin to the Ancestors. Angelic bodies, human souls. Too different for her to control, and thus… both powerful enough, and /free/ enough, to prevent all of that from happeninng.
(22:50:08) * Aline I guess he took that freedom-from-destiny - even just 'being victim to random chance because you're too weak to change it yourself' - a bit too seriously, because his last written works… made clear his plan to /become/ Evangelion. He is in all of the three Paris-2 units as you likely know, and seems to be waiting for the moment to enact his own plan. I hopefully intend, though, to steer
(22:50:13) * Aline it towards protecting us from the /other/ plans that have far less progressive intentions."
(23:04:42) * W stayed silent for a while, much longer than any of his previous pauses. The shock and full weight of the case slowly bled into his expression as he diverted his gaze. "Well… fuck." Tap, tap. "I… only thought he was really in 01. Sounds like you've got the metaphysics, uh. Covered. Nice work, there." Taptaptaptaptap. He wiped a bit of sweat off his forehead and took a polite step away from Aline. "Hold on." He produced the small device his headphones were connected to from a pocket, and continued to tap on the buttons impatiently.
(23:07:23) * Aline sat calmly. "Take your time."
(23:14:24) W: A half-glance toward her, as if on reflex he wanted to evaluate the intention of the words, but caught himself and stopped. It took over a full minute of deep concentration on the offending device to make it behave, and for W's breathing to go back to normal (despite the spike when he almost dropped the thing with his sweaty grip). Finally, he sat down, facing away from the city, and cleared his throat. "You saw nothing."
(23:17:00) * Aline nodded. "Ah, 'course. I don't have much reason to have, anyway."
(23:22:02) W: "De Pteres. Your insight on how to get to his info. Preferably without Former Ambassador Anwar's fate. You left that out. Talk." W surveyed the hills and forests intensely.
(23:24:36) * Aline shrugged. "Ah. Well… chances are you need to try to relate to him, feel like you belong in his extended family, or at least are meaning them well. Looking like you're protecting the world and Paris - but letting him do a lot of it - too, might help. He's a bit shifty all told, but is still pretty… naive and kidlike, even for our age. Easily manipulated, you just need to remember
(23:24:36) * Aline the correct levers."
(23:34:06) W: "Good. I'll be fine, then. His relationship with the Fontaine woman is… amicable, to say the least. I figured I'd start with that." He turned the cane around in his hands, looking concentrated. "That's something else I was going to ask you about. What the hell is up between those two?"
(23:37:05) * Aline sighed. "…I think he's a clone of Elisha. I also think it'd be a bad idea to tell him that you know that. Probably make him clam up right there. But…" Aline's look got /weird/. "Yeah, basically she's like that with him because he's genetically her husband."
(23:50:42) * W just exhaled deeply, an inaudible curse escaping under his breath. "Okay, I get it. Delicate." Another deep breath. "I admit… not exactly as planned. Is that all?"
(23:53:40) * Aline knitted her hands together. "Should be. He's been acting strangely lately, but I don't know /why/ or anything. I…" She stretched. "I imagine you were probably surprised I was that talkative."
(23:55:32) W: "Of course. So the obvious question becomes…" The boy got up again, and approached Aline. There was under a meter of space between them. "What do you get out of this, Blanc?"
(23:58:28) * Aline stared up. "Other than the pleasure of someone knowing the truth who won't /instantly/ turn it around on me?… Probably the hope that knowing what's at stake might motivate and inform actions to protect it."
(00:14:28) * W squinted at her for a few moments, then adjusted his glasses and smiled. "And you call de Pteres naive? You have no idea where my information really goes. Now, I know that because -I- don't know where my information goes. I want to make this clear. I'm not on your side. But if you think the truth will help you, you might stand to gain something from that wager. But my being here hinges on a lot of conditions. I'm the best at what I do, but if I make one mistake here, everything's gone. And in that case, I'll trade away everything I have for one more minute. Your sides don't matter to me now, and they won't matter to me then."
(00:16:41) * Aline just made a nod-like gesture. Sharply. "Then you already have stakes. So be it! Right now, I'l going to hope you live, if only to be nice. Either way, it was… interesting."
(00:19:38) * W frowned just a little in response. "Well. It sure was. At least now I have a more appropriate sense of perspective for this thing. God." He paused again, and grinned.-
(00:19:50) W: "This will be the best case ever."
(00:23:14) Aline: "Mm~" …Aline stood up, and while she waited for him to head off… she was beginning to grab her little moped and get ready to /move/. Good side or bad, Paris was waiting.

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